Mangalore, May 13, 2012: N. K. Patil, the High Court judge who had inspected five anganwadi centres in DK, told reporters at a press conference held at Circuit House on May 11, Friday that the anganwadis of DK are better than the anganwadis in the rest of Karnataka.
A committee formed to identify cases of malnutrition in Karnataka had randomly selected these five anganwadis. The judge, who had inspected two anganwadis in Uppinangady, one in sampya, and one in Eshwaramangala, said that he identified only three cases of malnutrition in Uppinangady.
The High Court had recently ordered that cases of malnutrition in Karnataka must be identified and a report must be submitted before June 12, 2012.
On September 22, 2011, TV9, a Kannada TV news channel, had broadcast pictures of children dying of starvation in Markaladinni in Deodrug in Raichur. On September 23, 2011, the Belgaum-based Vimochana Sangha had written to the chief justice of the Karnataka High Court about the TV9 report and urged him to do something about malnutrition in the state. The High Court had then formed a committee of nine people under the leadership of Justice Patil to prepare an action plan to prevent the death of children due to malnutrition in Karnataka, especially in Bagalkot, Gulbarga, Kolar, Belgaum, and Chikkaballapur.
A reporter asked the judge if he might have visited only the best anganwadis in DK. The judge replied that, if that is so, he will hold the DC, the CEO of the ZP, the health officers, and the women and child development department responsible for it. He also said that the committee formed to study malnutrition in the state is concerned about poor infrastructure at these anganwadis.
The judge also said that the committee requests nutrition and healthcare experts to provide written feedback within 7 days to Member Secretary, Karnataka State Legal Services Authority, Nyaya Degula, 1st Floor, H. Siddaiah Road, Bangalore 27. Alternatively, they can email to firstname.lastname@example.org, he said.
Dr. N. S. Channappa Gowda, the deputy commissioner of Dakshina Kannada, was also present at the press conference.